How to Plan the Jam: Making Videogame Music with External Collaborators

Video game development teams have always been known for being multi-disciplinary, conformed by people from different departments. Learning to communicate and understand each other is a continuous work in progress. However, there might be external collaborators who aren’t always around, and communicating with them is even more complicated. Such is the tale of musicians vs developers.

In our studio we don’t have any kind of sound designer nor composer, so when we’re developing a project we have to rely on a professional studio; just like we did on Mucho Taco! Where we found allies with Soundscape Studio.

The musical composition of a game differs with that of any other piece of media and it is wise to keep in mind the following considerations:

All these considerations were shared with Soundscape when we showed them the project and the art we had of it. They also played the demo version of the game. We shared some music tracks from different media (TV shows, movies, games) that we thought could serve as inspiration.

Using that information as a reference, the Soundscape team built different inspirational pieces to find the core concept for what would later become the main theme for the game. Here’s one of them.

Once both our teams settled on a melody, we explained to the musicians how the tracks had to be exported. Communication between the programmer and the musician was going to be an arduous task, so I realized we would most definitely need a diagram to visually represent the game flow and the exact moment where each track should be played.

I started to build my own nomenclature so programmers and musicians could understand each other, and the result after some iterations was this:

Music diagram’s nomenclature:

Music Frames

Track Options

Complementary information for Music Frames.

Connection Shapes

Displays the intro and outro behaviors of a Track Frame or Theme Frame.

Play Options

Stop Options

For example, this is the music diagram for Mucho Taco!’s main theme:

A Theme Frame that loops indefinitely, which is composed of another Theme Frame and a Track Frame.




The track order is as follows:

Flutes Song / Flutes Song / Normal Song / Normal Song / Flutes Song / Flutes Song / Normal Song / Normal Song / Idle Song / Idle Song / Idle Song / Idle Song

For our game (Mucho Taco!) we designed several events which change the BG music. One of such events is the player-activated “Fiesta”. When it happens, the current track must stop and the “Fiesta Song” will be played instead; which is a track with a well-defined beginning and ending with a fixed duration.


Another BG music disruptive event is called “Mucha Suerte” which is triggered automatically. This event does not have a fixed duration and the player can stay on that event an indefinite amount of time, so it must have a track that is able to loop.

To ease-in the loop-able portion of the track, we decided to add an intro track that leads to it.



Start Positions

Indicates the beginning of the diagram. In our case, a mobile game means the player can open and close the game anytime, so any re-entry points must be highlighted on the diagram depending on the player’s progress.

Finally, we incorporated the game tutorials, which led the final diagram to look like this:

A simple diagram that efficiently shows the musicians how the tracks should be prepared.

Thank you for reading! Hope you find this information useful in your game making. If you enjoyed this post and want to check the music diagram working in our game, Mucho Taco, click this link and have a great #indiedev!


*Download editable file here*

Introducing Trailer Crafters

A game trailer production service from 1 Simple Game

If you have ever developed a game or if you are part of a team that has, chances are you really look forward for the game being played by as much people as possible. Some want people to experience the intricate narrative you spent years planning or because your business depends on it. No matter what your ultimate goal is, we all know that more people playing your game is a good thing.

Making games and delivering them has never being easier. As a consumer, there has never been a better time to play games. However, the competitive landscape of the games market grows and promoting your game gets much more challenging. To put it simply: a game without promotion is dead on arrival.

There are many ways you can promote your game and having a trailer is, without a doubt, the cornerstone of any successful game release. Think about it: how many times have you watched a trailer for a game and made the decision to play it while viewing it? I bet many, many times. We live in a world where video content is at our fingertips and our attention span is getting shorter, so promoting a game via an engaging trailer is essential if you want your game to be noticed.

As developers, we understand the importance of having astonishing video content to promote your game. To promote Mucho Taco we spend days tweaking our launch trailer; we knew that thousands of potential players would be judging whether to download or game or not based on those 30 seconds. It was worth it.

Our effort was well worth it. Not only we managed to capture the attention of potential players, but the fine folks at Noodlecake Games (Mucho Taco’s publisher) took notice and praised our work. This led us to work together with Noodlecake producing trailers for some of the amazing games they published.

This is how Trailer Crafters was born: a trailer production service for developers by developers. Our goal is to produce kick-ass video content to promote your game, without breaking the bank! You take care of the development, we handle the production of your video content. Trailer? Sure thing! A teaser, perhaps? No problem! A video promoting a new content update? Considered it done!

Head to www.trailercrafters.com and learn more about our service and get in touch. We would love to promote your game.

Global Game Jam 2018

For the past four years we’ve been happy to be a part of this great experience that gathers so many talented people from all around the globe. Each year we put our skills up to the test in order to create fun games that we can enjoy making together, and of course, to watch others having fun while playing them.

In this last Jam, and now with a bigger team, we faced new challenges, improved team skills, missed so much sleep but alas, we did it again!

Our theme this year was “transmission”, which made us wander from cars to spaceships and alien invasions. And this was how Heal Billies was born. Is a fun multiplayer action game where you have to fight against an army of diseases , who will try to enter you ship and destroy its core.

We had a blast creating this game and hope to have a great time again next year. Want to try it out?


Fall 2017 Updates!

Hi everyone! It’s been a couple months since we have updated you in what’s coming from 1SG. We have 2 upcoming projects and we can’t wait for the world to play them.

First stop is Deus Cult. Deus Cult: a sacrifice based puzzle game set in a pre-apocalyptic world. While Mucho Taco is all about the glorious joy tacos bring to the world, Deus Cult goes in the opposite direction: a dark game about the impending Armageddon and your job as a cult leader whose job is to carefully manage your “tributes”: Money, Faith, and Blood of the impure. Gameplay is divided into small resource management puzzle, with each level requiring meeting certain goal.

The game is based on a Global Game Jam 2016 project -which you can check out right here: https://globalgamejam.org/2016/games/deus-vult-0 At the time we felt we needed a game with a much different vibe from what we worked on before as a palette cleanser. Being “Ritual” the theme of the gamejam we decided to focus on the occult idea behind “ritual”, we developed the foundation of what it would later become Deus Cult.

Deus Cult is coming soon to iOS and Android devices worldwide. We´ll keep you posted.

The next thing we have been working on is on a PC / Web version of Mucho Taco! We couldn’t be happier with the response worldwide for our taco clicker and we wanted to bring the world to more screens. We all know that idle games are great for having the running in the background while you do other stuff, and the desktop environment lends itself to this.

Now you will be able to play on glorious widescreen, or have it snapped to the edge of the screen so you can take care of your taco empire while you work on your Q4 sales report. Mucho Taco for the PC and Web will be available soon.

Finally, we have 2 early stage games we are working on: Lullaby of Life and Knights VS Robots. While both games are still at a very early stage of production and many things can change, we can share that Lullaby of Life is being develop as our first console release and Knights vs Robots will iterate on some of the concepts from Mucho Taco and it will be a much deeper experience. We’ll be updating you one how the games are coming along in the next few months.


Hi everyone! Welcome to the brand-new blog for One Simple Game, the gamedev studio behind Mucho Taco! ¡Bienvenidos!

If you are not familiar with 1SG, here’s a small snippet of our About Us page:

1 Simple Game is a development studio crazy for video games looking to create engaging experiences that connect, inspire, and leave a lasting impression on player’s mind. The studio was built under the premise to entertain the world, working with an amazing team of highly determined and talented individuals, and building a sustainable business from which our community can benefit from… all while having a lot of fun doing it. Video games offer us the opportunity to combine art, technology, programing, storytelling, marketing, and sound in unique ways that can entertain and inspire our players. Through our collaborative effort, we strive to build a healthy ecosystem that will allow people which share the same ideals to work making the best experiences for a worldwide audience for many years, and serve as a referent of how Mexico and LATAM can compete on a global scale.

You might also be familiar with Mucho Taco, an idle clicker game where you make zillions of tacos with the power of the sun tortilla and the guidance of Barbacoatl, an enigmatic taco connoisseur. We released Mucho Taco worldwide on September 2015 with great success: the game was heavily featured on the iOS App Store and we quickly broke the million downloads mark. We are more than grateful for the community that was formed around the game shortly after release.

This is going to be our new digital home where we will be updating you constantly on the games we are working on and talk more in depth about the process it takes to make them. From game design decisions to graphic pipelines, this is the place to get an in-depth into our studio and creative process.

On behalf of the team, welcome!